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Meaning of tributary

trib•u•tar•y

Pronunciation: (trib'yu-ter"ē), [key]
— n., pl. adj. -tar•ies,
—n.
  1. a stream that flows to a larger stream or other body of water.
  2. a person or nation that pays tribute in acknowledgment of subjugation or the like.
—adj.
  1. (of a stream) flowing into a larger stream or other body of water.
  2. furnishing subsidiary aid; contributory.
  3. paying or required to pay tribute.
  4. paid as tribute.
  5. subject; subordinate: a tributary nation.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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